Wednesday, 25 December 2013

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Apologies for the radio silence on the blog lately, I will try to find time to blog as soon as possible!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas day, and I will speak to you in 2014 :)

x

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

quinessence marinal masque

Hi everyone!

My skin has been a bit on the temperamental side recently - patches of redness, massively clogged pores and just generally not looking great. So the email I got from Quinessence couldn't have come at a better time. They offered me the chance to try something from their range and I headed straight to the skincare section.

Quinessence Marinal Masque

Quinessence Marinal Masque

Quinessence Marinal Masque

I always hear great things being said about clay based masks and once I read the description of the Marinal Masque I was sold.

First impressions wise, the mask looked pretty much like I expected it to but it smelt a lot less heavy and 'clay' scented than I thought it would, if that makes sense. It smells quite fresh, and Quinessence specialise in aromatherapy so I guess this was down to that. The mask contains Geranium oil, Seaweed and Sea Lavender extracts. The consistency is a little thinner than I thought it would be, but then I'm not really very experienced with clay masks so I didn't really know what to expect.

When I first applied the mask it was instantly cooling and soothing on my skin. While it was wet I did experience quite a bit of a tingly sensation, but I tend to class this as there being something in the product that is actually doing something. The tingling died down as the mask dried. In areas where I'd applied it thinner, this really sank into my pores and because of this it really showed my pores up. 

The directions say to leave this on to dry for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. I found that this wasn't enough time for the mask to dry, I've been leaving it on for more like 15-20 minutes and in thicker areas like on my cheeks, it still isn't dry. I don't consider this a problem though, as like I said it's while the mask is wet that I can feel it working.

After rinsing off, my skin felt firmer and smoother. The website claims that this will tighten skin tissues, and I definitely agree with that. I noticed my pores were also less visible. I know that in reality there is no product out there that will ever shrink my pores (sad face!) but it's really nice to see them tightened up even if only for a while.I didn't find that I had any redness or reaction to the mask, even immediately after removal. I felt like the products I used after the mask really sank in to my skin a lot better, like it had been prepped for the rest of my routine, and it helped keep the oil/shine at bay for longer.

Overally I've really been enjoying using this. The pot I have is 50ml which retails for £13.25, and can be found here. I think that's very reasonable, as I know I will have plenty more uses to get out of this tub - I'd estimate something like 10 full face applications. That being said I can see that this would be a good product to use just in problem areas like the T-zone. There is also a smaller size for under £10 which would be great if you wanted to try this out before getting a larger tub.

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

spotty nails

Hi everyone!

I was bored one evening recently so dedicated some time to my nails. It's nothing too complicated so I don't have too much to say, so on with the photo:

Spotty Nails

There is one person who may read this who will know why I chose to experiment with bright colours like this :) but I wasn't having that many creative ideas so I went for the standard polka dots. I like how these turned out, especially my middle - little fingers, I think the contrast works quite well.

Colours used were:

Purple - Nubar Purple Love (review here)
Orange - Essie Orange, It's Obvious
Yellow - Maybelline Color Show Electric Yellow
Blue - Barry M Gelly Guava
Green - Barry M Gelly Key Lime

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

dainty doll blusher

Hi everyone!

Today I have another review, this time of a blusher.

Dainty DollBlusher - You Are My Sunshine

This is from the Dainty Doll collection by Nicola Roberts, and is called You Are My Sunshine. - I should note here that  Please excuse the grubby packaging in these photos, I've actually had this blusher for months - it was shown in this post when I bought it, and I promised to post about it so, 6 months later, I'm doing it!

Packaging wise, it's fairly simple, the standard satin black that all of the Dainty Doll products come in, with the name of the brand on the top and a sticker on the bottom. It comes with a mirror too and considering how large the pan is, it's a handy thing to have - some products have such small mirrors it seems pointless! The name of the shade isn't included on the actual packaging, only on the outer box, which is kind of annoying. Anyway, that aside, the rest of this post should be much more positive.

Dainty DollBlusher - You Are My Sunshine
Dainty DollBlusher - You Are My Sunshine

This is a peachy pink colour with a golden shimmer to it which I've seen compared to the famous NARS Orgasm blusher. I haven't got that to compare them but have seen some side by side photos and can definitely see how similar the two are. You can see just how much use (and love) I've given this blusher in the photos.

Dainty DollBlusher - You Are My Sunshine

Hopefully this photo gives you an idea of how the blusher looks on the skin. A little goes a long way with this product as you can probably tell from the swatch above. This gives such a lovely glow to the cheeks and I absolutely love the peachy colour. This product was designed for pale skin like mine so it goes brilliantly with my complexion. I think the colour is just so beautiful, it's possible my favourite blusher that I own.

I got this for a bargain price of something like £2 or £3, it was reduced along with a load of other Dainty Doll products, I bought a few as you can see in the post linked above. I'm not really sure if this is still available or if it was reduced because it's been discontinued. It's still showing on the DD site here, and seems to be available on places like Amazon through private sellers, or eBay, but nowhere 'official'. If it has been discontinued, at least it is still available so I'm not just teasing you! If you can, I would definitely recommend this colour. As well as being designed for pale girls, I bet the glowiness means it would look great on tanned skin too.

Have you tried any of this range before? What would you recommend?

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

collection eyeshadow pencils

Hi everyone!

Today I have a review of what I believe to be a (relatively) new product from Collection - the eyeshadow pencils. 

Collection Eyeshadow Pencils

These caught my eye a few times while browsing before I decided to buy any, and I have to say I'm glad I did! I have the colours Vintage Blush (3) and Hot Chocolate (4). I was drawn to these colours as I'm all about neutral eye makeup, I'm a little scared of colour to be honest! They are lovely subtle colours, and I think they look great together.

Collection Eyeshadow Pencils

I know there are a lot of similar products like this around at the moment but these are the only ones I've tried, so I can't compare at the moment, but I'm much more impressed with these than I expected to be. The only experience I've ever had with eyeshadow pencil/crayon type products before these were a horrible silver one that came in one of those makeup sets that get given to young girls. It slid down my face before I knew it and people thought I had a black eye! So naturally I was wary of these at first. However when I swatched them in the shop, I then went to look at other products and by the time I came back the swatches had set and weren't budging, which seemed very promising.

Collection Eyeshadow Pencils

In the photo above I'm wearing Vintage Blush all over my lid and Hot Chocolate on the outer corner and into the crease. This photo was taken after probably about 6 hours of wear and there is no creasing or any movement at all. These do claim to be waterproof and when I tried licking my finger and rubbing my hand (nice, I know!) only a tiny amount of product came off, and I did have to rub pretty hard, so I'm inclined to agree with the claims on the packaging. That being said, when it comes to removal, I don't actually own any eye makeup specific remover, let alone waterproof, but the product came off easily which was a relief, as it meant I wouldn't need to pull at my eyes to get it off.

Brilliant lasting power aside, the formula of these is great, really creamy and easy to blend - for a small while, at least. They are totally blendable when first applied but they will set fairly quickly and after that, they're going nowhere You can kind of see this on the right eye in the photo above (my left) - I applied to both eyes and then blended, and have learnt since then that it's best to apply then blend each eye at a time.

As you can probably tell by how much I've gone on about these, I love them! Luckily they exceeded all my expectations and are such a great price too - £3.19 on the Collection website here but I think prices can differ from shop to shop.

I am definitely interested in the other colours, I actually think the whole colour selection is wearable but just a little less browny-neutral than I'm used to, which is why I haven't purchased just yet. Vanilla Sky is a pearly white which I imagine would be great as a base for other products. The navy shade, Denim Diva, swatches absolutely beautifully but I keep looking at it and thinking I won't dare to use it. I think I need to pluck up the courage though!

Have you tried these eyeshadow pencils? Are you as big a fan as I am?

Hope you liked!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

wedding

Hi everyone!

Quick outfit post - shock, I know! - from me today. This was my wedding outfit from a few weeks ago.

Wedding Outfit

Dress, Belt, Blazer & Flats - Primark
Wedges - Matalan
Hair Flowers - Ebay
Watch - Marc Jacobs

Not much to say about this really, just wanted to share as I actually got photos of what I was wearing for once! I think navy and mint/aqua are my favourite colours in general, and I love how they go together too :) I also love weddings :D

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

collection lasting perfection concealer

Hi everyone!

Today's post is in some ways a bit of a pointless one. I say that because a huge amount of people have already declared their love for this, but I felt like adding my agreement to the pile! This is something I use on a daily basis so thought it deserved a mention. I mentioned it in a post a few weeks ago - here - and said that I was going to be writing a review on it, so here it is!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

The product I'm talking about is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. I use this in the shade 1 Fair. I'm not going to ramble on for too long about this but basically I love it and urge you to try it if you haven't already! 

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I haven't tried any of the higher end concealers that some people have said this is better than, but I don't feel I need to. I use this under my eyes as well as on any blemishes/redness and I feel it does a great job all round. It's pretty thick but still blends well - although don't leave it too long before blending as it will set - and covers really well. For work most days I will wear just a powder with this concealer where I feel I need it, and that's enough.

I should also mention the price - £4.19! You can get it from Boots here. I think this is a great price for such a great concealer and I've repurchased this more times than I can count now, and will continue to do so. 

Have you tried this - if not, where have you been?! Are you as big a fan as I am?

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

stripes

Hi everyone!

Another quick nail post from me today. I got a couple of nail polishes for my birthday recently and decided to pair them together. One is a standard nude and the other is a bright yellow. Honestly neither of these are necessarily colours I'd wear alone. I find the nude a little too boring - although perfect for 'serious' events - and the yellow too much - although ideal for nail art. That makes perfect sense, right?! but together I quite like how they look.

Stripy Nails

The nude is Glow by Orly and the yellow is 'Electric Yellow from the Maybelline Color show collection.

I'm not too happy with the index finger stripes, I don't think I like the horizontal line. I was trying to not have just diagonal but actually I prefer the diagonal lines much more. I like how this looks as it negates what I didn't like about both polishes - it makes the nude more interesting and it tones down the yellow so it's not so in-your-face.

I'm also pretty happy with the Orly polish in terms of application, formula and staying power. I'm not sure about the Maybelline as obviously a few lines is not a great way to test a polish, but colour wise these lines are all just one coat so it's way more opaque than I thought it would be.

Anyway, I've written much more than I thought I would about such a simple nail look, so I'll leave it here.

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

ombre nails

Hi everyone!

Quick post from me today, just wanted to show you my attempt at ombre/gradient nails. This was done using W7 'White' and Barry M Gelly in Greenberry. My first attempt can ever so slightly be seen in this post but I had this vision of doing a white into mint nail look, and this is how it turned out. 

Ombre Nails

The minty green is more vivid in person than this photo shows. I definitely still need to perfect my technique - I used this tutorial which I found really useful and easy to follow. Overall though I'm happy with how these came out, I think they're really pretty while not being too in your face 'nail art' if that makes sense. The cleanup is not fun though! What I do like is because the sponge makes the coat of polish quite thin, they dry super fast and last really well too. I will definitely be doing this sort of nail look in the future!

Have you tried this technique? I would love to see some inspiration :)

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

long term loves

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to post about some of the products I use that have been part of my routine for a long time now. Sort of a favourites post but more favourites over the space of a year (or more, in some cases).

Long Term Loves

MUA Palettes - I love these things! I pretty much never stray from neutral eye colours and these have every colour I could need. If I'm doing my eyes I will reach for one of these every time.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - I've lost count of how many of these I've gone through. I have a post drafted all about this so I won't go into too much detail - and I'm sure you've read about it on just about every other beauty blog out there anyway!

Mac Hue Lipstick - Not much to say about this. Easy to wear, lovely colour, great formula, that's about it!

Real Techniques brushes - specifically the Buffing, Contour and Expert Face brushes, but I love the eye brushes too. I don't use anything else to apply my makeup, so these speak for themselves I think.

Mac Mocha Blush - In all honesty this is far from my favourite blusher that I own. However I wear it pretty much every week day (you can see it's well used!) because its just so easy to wear, inoffensive for everyday and looks fairly natural. For someone as pale as me, if I don't wear blusher I get asked if I'm ill, so this is a must have for me!

Long Term Loves

Batiste dry shampoo - I try not to need to use this too often, but on days where I do need it, I can't fault the Batiste range. I prefer the Tropical scent but currently have the Blush one on the go.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish - this is either my 2nd or 3rd bottle of this. I just find it so easy to use, cleans my face and leaves it feeling soft rather than stripped. I love the smell for just before bed too.

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel - This is actually the product that inspired this post. I realised I've been using this product for probably 2 and a half years now, almost exclusively! It's always included in the Christmas sets, and I often get another bottle separately, and then it's my birthday halfway through the year so I often get stocked up then. A 500ml bottle will last me probably somewhere between 3-4 months as a little goes a long way, so this works out great value too.

St Ives Apricot Scrub - I'm not often one for face scrubs so I admit I haven't tried that many, but of the ones I have tried this is my favourite. Smells good and I like how it feels on my face - not much more to say really!

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints

Barry M Nail Paints - The photo is of the Gelly versions but really this just represents any Barry M polish. I know some people have their complaints about the quality of these polishes but I've never had any problems. Their shade range is fantastic, always coming out with new releases and at such an affordable price. A huge portion of my collection is Barry M and for good reason :)

So those are a few of the products that have stayed in my routine for an extended amount of time. Do you have any recommendations of products you've stayed loyal to? I'd love to hear :)

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

soap and glory - smoothie star body milk

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to be posting about a product that has been a lifesaver recently - the Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk - link to buy at Boots here.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk

It's something of a tradition now for me to get the Soap & Glory massive selection box that always sells for a really good deal for Christmas. Last time that included this, the Smoothie Star body milk. I'll be honest, I am terrible at remembering to moisturise - there are several Righteous Butter tubs lurking around my room that are barely used. However having just got back from Spain, my tan is starting to peel a little (nice!) and so it's reminding me that I really need to keep moisturising, and this is what I've been using.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk

As you can see from the above photo, the word 'milk' is probably a little misleading. It's more of a cream but it is still on the thinner more runny side of a cream, which I personally prefer. I don't need a super thick butter most of the time and I really hate feeling greasy and sticky after applying. This sinks in really fast and doesn't leave any sort of residue on my skin which is ideal for me.

Now, something that needs it's own paragraph - the smell. This smells absolutely delicious! So sweet and yummy, which is exactly my type of scent. My mum on the other hand isn't a fan, so this probably isn't for everyone. But if you like sweet smells then I'm sure you'll love this!

I am just really happy with this. For £10 you get 500ml which in my experience so far is lasting for a really long time! I would definitely recommend this, probably more so for people who don't have super dry skin, as this is fairly lightweight. There is a butter version though for people with drier skin who like the scent. I'm definitely in the 'milk' camp though :)

Have you tried this, are you as big a fan as I am?

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

what i ate - spanish edition #2

Hi everyone!

Back again to show you all the yummy food I ate in Spain :) you can see part 1 here. Now for the food!

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

These three photos are taken at a restaurant called Tutti Frutti in Altea - website here. I would say this place has earned itself title of my favourite place to eat in Spain! I loved it last year and loved the same dish again this year. If you go back to last year's post you can see they have changed it slightly, but it was still just as yummy! Dessert was apple strudel with a stack of watermelon which was also lovely :)

Spanish Food

Paella! Couldn't go to Spain without having a paella, and I really enjoyed this one. So much so I forgot to take a photo before we dug in! This is from a restaurant called Cap D'or in Moraira - TripAdvisor link here. The reviews aren't brilliant for this place but we really liked it.

Spanish Food

I believe this is sea bass, with some serrano ham and vegetables. This was also really tasty, from L'Almacera in Teulada. Run by a super friendly husband and wife team who come from England, they really make the restaurant what it is in my opinion. Website here.

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

Lunch at Ca Maria in Javea - link here. I had garlic cod (the stuff that looks like cheese on top is actually a garlicky sauce. It came with veg and potato, I love the way so many places serve potatoes in Spain. For some reason I wasn't expecting to like this but it was actually really nice!

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

Grilled vegetables, swordfish and profiteroles at El Nido - TripAdvisor link here. Love this place, been so many times and it keeps us coming back!

Spanish Food

More grilled vegetables for a light meal, annoyingly I can't remember the name of this place but I just wanted to show you as I loved how they served the onions! This was super yummy :)

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

For our last meal we went to Satari's - link here. I had sea bass, Bryn had a fancy folded crepe for dessert and then there's the star of the show - my dessert. Melon slices with mango sorbet, in a mint and ginger sauce with crystallised mint on top. Sounds simple but I think this is honestly the best dessert I have EVER eaten, it was amazing! Think I need to try to replicate this!

So that's all my food from Spain! I have to admit one of the things I look forward to the most when going on holiday is getting to try different foods and this year didn't disappoint at all, everything was lovely :) I miss it already!

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

what i wore - spanish edition #2

Hi everyone!

It's been a while, hasn't it?! I won't make excuses, however for part of June I went back to Spain, which was just lovely! I'm going to do my what I wore/ate post just like last year. To see what I wore last year you can click here. On to the photos!

Outfit

Outfit

Outfit

This was the only day I took actual outfit photos - sorry!

Dress/Hat/Sandals - Primark
Bag - New Look

Outfit

Dress/Hat/Sandals - Primark
Scarf - Gift

Outfit

Dress - New Look

Outfit

Not an outfit photo at all really but I couldn't not show you my cat friend :D

Dress - H&M
Coverup shirt - Primark

Post about the food (the best part!) coming soon :)

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

maybelline colour tattoo - on and on bronze

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to post about something that I'm sure you've read about before - the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, I have the shade On and On Bronze.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze

Maybelline Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze

Maybelline Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze

Maybelline Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze

I thought this was the most wearable shade and therefore would be a good place to start. It will probably come as no surprise to know that I really like this. It's good as both a base and on it's own, it's a lovely colour and really easy to use. I haven't quite mastered using a brush with it yet, but it's fine with my fingers - it probably makes it easier if anything, to heat the product up a little first to blend better.

On first impressions I have to admit I was expecting it to be more like a product from Rimmel that I posted about here - almost 2 years ago! I'm not entirely sure which formula I prefer but they're not as similar as I thought they would be so it's hard to compare.

One thing I really wanted to make clear in this post is that the staying power of this is really good! It sets very quickly and once dry, it doesn't move, which is great.

I am definitely interested in the other neutral colours, especially Permanent Taupe. It seems like a slightly lighter version of this shade, but with less shimmer, which would be really wearable at any time. I'm not sure on the brighter colours really but as bases and also on their own, I'm sure I would get a lot of use out of any neutral shades.

Have you tried any of these Colour Tattoos? Which shades would you recommend?

Hope you liked!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

barry m nail art pen

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to be posting about what I believe is a fairly new release from Barry M - a nail art pen.

Barry M Nail Art Pen

In all honesty I only bought this to make up the numbers to get money off when I bought the polishes in this post. I thought black would be the colour I'd get the most use out of. It took me a while to try it out, I've not done any nail art in a long time and I thought it was time to get back into it. Below are a couple of the looks I've done recently - you can definitely tell I've not done this in a while!

Barry M Nail Art Pen
Barry M Nail Art Pen

Once you get used to it I found the pen pretty easy to use, but it does take a bit of getting used to. I felt a bit hesitant about pressing as hard as you sometimes need to, for fear of ruining the polish underneath. But overall it's easy to use, although not quite as easy as an actual pen. I was half expecting it to be like a felt tip pen, but it's much more stiff than that - I guess it has to be to stop it drying out straight away. It's one of those pens that you have to push down a few times to get it working - I would definitely recommend having some paper or something like that nearby to do this on, as it's painful on the back of the hand!

There is one thing you should definitely be aware of though...

Barry M Nail Art Pen
Barry M Nail Art Pen

These pictures were taken about 3 or 4 days after the photo above, but the rubbing off started pretty much right away. I put a top coat on one hand and not on the other - I doubt I need to tell you which is which! So you absolutely need a top coat on this pen.

I hope I haven't seemed too negative so far because I do like this product. There is no streaking at all when applying the top coat, and once the top coat is on the pen seems to last as long as it needs to - I took the leopard off to do the zebra so I'm not sure how long it would have lasted. I don't know if I'd necessarily be interested in the other colours just because I don't know if I'd get much use out of them - the white could come in handly though.

These cost £4.99 which I think is very reasonable, I know Topshop do one which is a little more that I would assume works in a very similar way.

Have you tried these pens? What did you think?

Hope you liked!